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December 13, 2010

KDDI, MFIC to jointly build open mobile payment platform worldwide

Mobile network operators to become an important player in the financial sector

By CBR Staff Writer

Japanese telecom company KDDI and US based financial offering provider Microfinance International (MFIC) have formed a partnership involving KDDI’s US$22m investment in MFIC to develop an open mobile payment platform worldwide.

KDDI’s global relationship with over 600 carriers and MFIC’s money transfer offering will enable mobile network operators (MNOs) to offer competitive financial services and expand the boundary of financial services to integrate unbanked customers into the formal financial system.

KDDI president Takashi Tanaka said they were seeing more and more convergence of telecommunications and financial services going on worldwide, still most of them are local movements.

"In such circumstances, I am very excited and looking forward to the collaboration with MFIC who has extensive financial expertise, bringing both of us a chance for true global business development," Tanaka said.

MFIC president and CEO Atsumasa Tochisako said, "Mobile money brings paradigm shift in the financial sector and I am excited to partner with KDDI to both be leaders in the industry."

As the first step of collaboration, in January 2011 Locus Telecommunications, KDDI’s subsidiary headquartered in New Jersey is launching a new service in the US, allowing customers to send money overseas using a multi-purpose calling card.

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